Chamber Endorsed Proposal Passes

The Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce issued support for the proposal for the Goleta Complete Streets project to reduce Hollister Avenue from four lanes to two, providing safe access to bicyclist and pedestrians to and from Old Town Goleta, which creates more room for outdoor space and dining more accessible to the community.
The Pilot Project was approved Tuesday night by the City Council. Click here to read more

Carpinteria Community Awards Update

The Chamber has postponed the 63rd Annual Community Awards Banquet Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Originally planned for January 23, 2021, the Chamber is hopeful to celebrate the honorees in October, either in person or virtually.

The Chamber will continue to honor the Carpinterian of The Year, Junior Carpinterian of the Year, two Junior Carpinterian Scholarship Finalists, two Teachers of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, and Merit Awards honoring volunteers from 20 local non-profit organizations.

Scholarship’s will be awarded in the Spring 2021, once again awarding three Scholarships to well-deserving graduating seniors. The Junior Carpinterian of the Year (Jr. COY) will receive a $4,000 Scholarship and two finalists will each receive a $1,500 Scholarship and are available to any graduating senior who is a resident of the Carpinteria Valley. Two Teachers of the Year will also be awarded Scholarship funds for supplies and to enhance their classrooms.

For more information or to contribute to the Junior Carpinterian Scholarship Fund, please contact joyce@sbscchamber.com or call 805.967.2500 Ext. 106.

Use of Natural Gas Debated

The Chamber’s Public Policy Committee addressed a proposal for the city of Santa Barbara to ban natural gas from new construction. Though the Chamber acknowledges the importance of addressing climate change, the Chamber also recognizes that the timing is off to make these modifications given the economic impacts businesses are facing due to the COVID-19 Pandemic as well as the importance of diversifying the channels of energy consumption. Click here to read the letter sent to Santa Barbara Mayor Murillo and City Council on January 6th, 2021.

Meet New Carpinteria Councilmember Alarcon

This year the Chamber is sitting down with recently elected officials to ask them about their business-related policy platform.

As the newest member of the Carpinteria City Council, I am eager to work with the city and our community to address our challenges and develop solutions. It is no surprise that Carpinteria has been impacted by the pandemic. Many of our residents and small businesses continue to struggle. As a way to support our business community, the city must continue to seek state and federal funding to expand our Small Business Restart program, putting vital dollars into the hands of businesses.

I support the measures the city has set forth, for example, business expansion into the public right of way through completion of a self-certification process.  I understand how vital our business community is, and I will continue to explore ways to streamline our permitting process in support of business creation and retention. Additionally, collaborating with the Chamber and city committees, such as Downtown “T” to develop targeted strategies that are unique to our business community.

I would also like to see the expansion of the Host Kiosk, possibly installing a revolving interaction information screen. The Kiosk use could be reimagined to include regular Chamber hours, local business information, and more.

As we continue to work through the challenges presented by the pandemic, I encourage community members to participate in the upcoming 2021 annual work plan meeting. This meeting gives community members the opportunity to learn about upcoming projects and priorities and express input.

Natalia Alarcon attended the University of California Santa Barbara and obtained a B.A. in History. She earned a master’s degree at Antioch University of Santa Barbara in Clinical Psychology and obtained her License as a Psychotherapist and has founded a small private practice. She is a bilingual Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and nonprofit professional. Natalia is an active board member of Parents for Aliso and a board member of the Rental Housing Mediation Program.

Update on the COVID-19 Relief Package

Last week the County Chamber CEOs met with Congressman Carbajal to discuss Small Business Relief and economic impacts to our community. We would like to thank Congressman Carbajal of the 24th District for his support in helping pass a second COVID-19 Relief Package. Please see an update from our Congressman on the relief package:

  • Unemployment Assistance: Provides $300 per week in supplemental federal unemployment beginning as soon as Dec 27th and lasting through March 14th.
  • Housing Security: Extends the eviction moratorium to January 31st, provides $25 billion in federal rental assistance, and strengthens the Low Income Housing Tax Credit.
  • Direct Payments: Provides a $600 direct payment to adults earning under $75,000 and $1200 to households earning under $150,000. Provides $600 per dependent child, so a family of four can receive up to $2400.
  • Business and Economic Recovery: Provides $325 billion in funding to facilitate a strong economic recovering, including:
    • A second round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, plus the ability to make expenses associated with forgiven loans tax deductible.
    • Advance borrowers should be made whole, without regard for whether those borrowers are eligible for PPP forgiveness. The Administrator will issue rules that ensure borrowers are made whole if they received forgiveness and their EIDL was deducted from that amount.
    • $15 billion for live music venues and other cultural institutions.
    • Clarifies that deductions are allowed for otherwise deductible expenses paid with the proceeds of a PPP loan that is forgiven
    • $15 billion to help airlines assist their furloughed workers.
    • Expands eligibility for PPP loans to nonprofits and news outlets.
  • Vaccine Distribution: Includes $20 billion for vaccine procurement and over $8 billion for distribution, which makes the vaccine available at no cost for anyone who needs it.
  • Pandemic Mitigation: Provides states with $20 billion to assist with testing and contact tracing programs.
  • Food Security: Sets aside $13 billion to increase SNAP benefits by 15% and allocates $13 billion in direct payments to farmers and ranchers to offset losses from COVID-19.
  • Schools and Child Care: Provides $82 billion to get students back to school and parents back to work.
    • Over $54 billion for K-12 education
    • $22.7 billion for colleges, including $1.7 billion set aside for minority serving institutions.
    • $10 billion in emergency assistance for the child care sector.
    • Repeals a ban preventing incarcerated students from qualifying for Pell grants.
  • Internet Connectivity: Includes $7 billion in broadband funding to keep Americans connected and healthy. Sets aside $300 million specifically to improve rural broadband access and includes $250 million for telehealth.

 

Chamber Welcomes Southwest Airlines to the South Coast

In response to today’s announcement that Southwest Airlines is coming to the Santa Barbara Airport, the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to provide its support and enthusiasm for this effort, one that will have a lasting effect on the region’s economic vitality.

Chamber leaders have worked closely with Visit Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Airport, and the City of Santa Barbara toward more connectivity for our region, and specifically pursued Southwest Airlines. A decade ago, the Chamber’s Air Services Committee provided research and information, so that the recent core group could work to cross the finish line. As a world-class center for technology and innovation, our region’s business community values our position as a hub between Los Angeles and San Francisco — sometimes referred to as “Techtopia.”

Kristen Miller, president and CEO of the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce, shares, “Adding Southwest Airlines to the roster of carriers at SBA, is a huge achievement. We are proud to find an airline partner with convenient access to a network of destinations that will drive economic growth in many sectors, including business, technology, hospitality and more. This achievement further positions our region as one of the leading technology sectors in the country, especially with connectivity to other technology hubs.”

For years, the Chamber has understood the positive economic impacts of having key aviation partners, and established a dedicated subcommittee focused on improving the connectivity in the region and finding partners that understand the Chamber’s dedication to economic health and community vitality.

“Southwest Airlines’ arrival is an important milestone for the Santa Barbara community, and not just for leisure travelers,” says Bill Macfadyen, Noozhawk’s publisher and the Chamber’s co-chairman.

“In a year that has been so challenging, this partnership brings exciting opportunities for our regional business community and some of our nation’s leading innovators and entrepreneurs as they look beyond the current public health and economic crises.”

With Southwest’s commitment to Santa Barbara, the company not only makes a significant investment in the region but also confirms our own projections for a rebound and growth for our community and economy beyond the global pandemic.

For more information about economic development initiatives led by Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce, visit www.sbscchamber.com.

 

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Santa Barbara County Chambers Present First Ever State of the County

Click here to watch the State of the County.

 


The Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce, From Goleta to Carpinteria will host a virtual State of the County for release on Friday, December 11th, 9 – 10:30AM.

 

Guest speakers include: Board of Supervisors Chairman-Gregg Hart, Santa Barbara County Executive Officer-Mona Miyasato, Santa Barbara Assistant County Executive Officer-Nancy Anderson, and UC Santa Barbara Economic Forecast Project-Dr. Peter Rupert.

 

The Inaugural State of the County Address will be presented by the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce in partnership with all of the Chambers in Santa Barbara County, including Buellton Chamber, Lompoc Chamber, Santa Maria Chamber, Santa Ynez Chamber, and Solvang Chamber.

 

The State of the County Address concludes the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce’s 4-part State of the City/County series which featured State of the City-Carpinteria in September, State of the City-Santa Barbara in October, and State of City-Goleta in November. The State of the County will be filmed live from the rooftop at Hilton Garden Inn.

 

This year, with the Covid-19 pandemic, the information presented is more crucial than ever to inform our business and community members on critical information about their community and government, and to provide a comprehensive update on the ever-changing business landscape.

 

Register in advance for the Free Webinar at https://goletachamber.com/. After registering, a confirmation email containing the link will be sent.

 

Thank you to our Title Sponsor – LinkedIn. Many thanks to our Corporate Sponsors:  American Riviera Bank, Atlantic Aviation, Bega North America, Brown & Brown Insurance, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, Chevron, Community West Bank, Courtyard by Marriott, Cox Communications, Exxon Mobil, Fauver, Large, Archbald & Spray LLP, FLIR, Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital, Hollister Village, Karl Storz Imaging, Montecito Bank & Trust, Pacific Premier Bank, Plains All American Pipeline, L.P., Residence Inn by Marriott, Sansum Clinic, Signature Flight Support, Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas Co., Spherion, The Ritz-Carlton Bacara Santa Barbara, The Towbes Group, UC Santa Barbara, UCLA Health, and Village Properties.

Chamber Collects Data Regarding Transient Disturbances

In response to the recent spike in issues and disturbances arising from the transient population impacting local business and tourism, the Chamber will be initiating a response and collecting data from the community. The Chamber will be acting as the repository for testimonials, complaints, stories, incidents and photos from properties, businesses and residents in an effort to organize and accumulate a strong database to provide to the City and County officials when speaking to the impacts of these issues on the business community and tourism efforts. As a result, we hope providing this strong core database provided by both the business community and residents will elicit a sense of urgency to address this issue from community leaders.

If you have witnessed or experienced any interactions or know somebody that has, please feel free to send a record of your encounter to Cheyanne Brooks, Tourism and Communications Manager by emailing cheyanne@sbscchamber.com.

Roadmap to Recovery Update – Addressing Uncertainty

Everyone is concerned about the rise in COVID cases throughout our community and we are left debating whether there will be further tightening of restrictions or even another shut down. The Chamber is adamant about advocating that any new restrictions be based on sound science and information we have gathered through the Pandemic experience since March. We have all learned that there are five things are extremely effective in stopping the spread: proper distancing, mask-wearing, plexiglass, sanitizing and ventilation. Through our Roadmap to Recovery initiative, the Chamber has conducted 12 focus groups with over 163 Chamber business members, and it is clear these businesses are operating safely. The hotel, restaurant and retail industry locally has proven over the past 6 months that they can safely operate and will continue to do so with proper safety measures. If restaurants and hotels are forced to shut down, not only will we lose small businesses, but we will force people to go underground and gather with their family and friends where we know the highest risk of community spread resides.

The Chamber will continue to work with our community leaders and our businesses to collaboratively protect our health and safety as well as our livelihoods.

Goleta Leaders Address State of the City Amid COVID-19 and Ever-Changing Business Climate

Click here to view the Goleta State of the City 

With all of the challenges that have come with the rapid outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, local leaders gathered to give an update on the ever-changing business climate at Friday’s Goleta State of the City address.

“It’s been an unbelievably challenging year,” Kristen Miller, president and CEO of the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce, said in introducing the Zoomwebcast. “No one could have predicted the upheaval in our lives, our businesses and our communities.”

While the crisis has been tough on employees, organizations and businesses, there is a silver lining in the way that businesses have been able to adapt and find opportunities amid the adversity, according to Dave Powers, president and CEO of Deckers Brands.

“For us, challenges present opportunities to adapt, to innovate and to grow stronger together,” he said. “We have really noticed that being of service to others is a great way to find a sense of higher purpose and combat the feelings of stress, anxiety and exhaustion.”

Deckers recently held its first-ever Active Kindness Event, a global event that gave employees a week to actively serve their communities. The event culminated in 2,000 volunteer hours across the globe and supported more than 200 charities in one week, Powers said.

Throughout the contagion, Deckers has had to focus on what matters most to the business, and it came closer together as a global organization because of it, Powers said. With a record second quarter of the fiscal year, Deckers shifted its marketing investments to drive e-commerce and better connect with consumers.

Acknowledging that small businesses in Santa Barbara County and Goleta are the “lifeline of the community,” Deckers worked with the Santa Barbara Foundation to create the Santa Barbara Better Together Fund. The effort has raised and donated up to $1 million to local small businesses, 19 of which are in Goleta, according to Powers.

Shopping centers in Goleta are anchored with businesses that are deemed essential, and the city relies on those centers for its diverse tenant mix and service offerings, said Mark Ingalls, property manager at Camino Real Marketplace, at 7004 Marketplace Drive.

As Gov. Gavin Newsom’s March stay-at-home order sent shock waves through the economy, few retail sectors were deemed essential. The threats of supply chain disruption in essential consumer products led to panic-buying that caused tenants such as Costco and Home Depot to post double-digit increases in sales for the 2020 second quarter, according to Ingalls.

However, almost all other retail categories in the second quarter reported decreases of 75 percent to 100 percent in sales for the same period.

“Information was coming in waves,” Ingalls said. “Mixed messages and a lack of clear information made it difficult for businesses to pivot, not knowing if the changes and modifications they would need to make would be temporary or longer-lasting.”

Camino Real Marketplace assisted its restaurant tenants in obtaining Paycheck Protection Program loans under the CARES Act and worked individually with each on rent deferrals and payment schedules, and encouraged them to take whatever measures needed to remain open for business.

By looking at every possible way to reduce operational costs to reflect any decreases in the volume of the shopping center, Ingalls reported that the company was able to keep 100 percent of its staff on payroll and at work.

Sales numbers started creeping back up in the third quarter as consumers gained the confidence to shop and dine again safely, according to Ingalls.

“With the recent spike of COVID cases in Santa Barbara County, more uncertainty is back,” he said. “However, we feel we are better prepared to meet the challenge of sudden changes, new restrictions and mandates.”

Lauren Hanson, board president of the Goleta Water District, shared how the district had to adjust its daily business in the midst of the pandemic. She said board colleagues are fortunate to work with a dedicated and capable group to continue to provide a safe and reliable water supply to the residents of the Goleta Valley.

There has been careful operation and maintenance of water systems to maintain the level of service the community expects, Hanson said, and critical investments and treatment in delivery systems remain ongoing.

Aerie DeJong, vice president of Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital, at 351 S. Patterson Ave., shared plans to relocate the entire Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital, at 2415 De la Vina St. in Santa Barbara, to the Goleta campus by the end of 2023.

“The new rehabilitation hospital will offer state-of-the-art technology to accompany highly trained and compassionate staff,” he said.

The new hospital will include an entirely new aquatic center, an aesthetic redesign to the main lobby to accommodate the increase of traffic, a restorative therapeutic garden, and indoor and outdoor gathering and treatment spaces, according to DeJong.

Dr. Robin Malone, chief of staff at Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital, urged patients to seek prompt care for all medical emergencies and reminded the audience that it is safe to do so. Cottage has implemented new protocols and holds sufficient supplies of personal protective equipment to ensure the safety of patients, she said.

As the county is preparing for a surge in COVID-19 cases, Cottage Health hospitals and clinics continue to provide safe care to the community, said Dr. Lynn Fitzgibbons, an infectious disease specialist at Cottage Health.

“What we’re facing now is perhaps of greater magnitude,” she said, “but we’re going into it better armed than ever before.”

The Goleta State of the City presentation was the third in a four-part series coordinated by the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber, which was created over the summer — in large part because of the COVID-19 crisis — with the merger of the Goleta, Santa Barbara and Carpinteria Valley chambers of commerce. The new chamber, representing 1,100 members, is the largest business organization on the South Coast.

The Carpinteria State of the City was held in September, followed by Santa Barbara in October, with the State of Santa Barbara County scheduled for Dec. 11.

Noozhawk staff writer Jade Martinez-Pogue can be reached at jmartinez-pogue@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.